Opt-in to California exposure app to slow the spread of COVID-19

Chancellor Carol Christ and Executive Vice Chancellor and Provost A. Paul Alivisatos shared this message with the campus community Thursday:

We are writing to ask for your help in slowing the spread of COVID-19 on our campus and in our community. We encourage all members of the campus community to enroll in California COVID Notify when it goes live on Monday.

California COVID Notify is a privacy-first approach to using smartphones to alert you when you’ve been exposed to COVID-19. It augments traditional contact tracing efforts and makes it possible to reach unknown contacts.

This is a pilot program on behalf of the state of California. The pilot launched in September at UC San Diego and UC San Francisco and it has already proven to be a valuable tool on those campuses. We’ll be joined by our colleagues at several other UCs in expanding this pilot. If this expanded pilot is successful, we expect to see the technology rolled out statewide in the near future.

We recognize that you may have some privacy concerns about this program. Please rest assured that California COVID Notify does not collect location information and all aspects of your participation are completely anonymous. No personally identifiable information is used or stored.

We also want to assure our students that participation in this program will not put them at risk of disciplinary action. We have pledged to not discipline any student as a result of any contact tracing effort. Protecting the health and safety of our campus community will always be our top priority. We don’t want the fear of getting in trouble to get in the way of anyone providing honest and accurate information about any potential exposures in our community.

The system will go live on Monday, Nov. 16. For Apple iPhone users, you need to download the latest iOS 14.2 update. You can go ahead and do that now. Android device users don’t need to do anything prior to the launch.  Please look for a WarnMe alert with enrollment information on Monday. We also want to invite you to ask any questions you may have in an online question and answer session taking place this afternoon. Privacy, health, technology and student affairs leaders will be answering questions live on Reddit at 4 p.m.

We hope you will opt-in to this important program. It’s one more small way that we all can do our part to help slow the spread of COVID-19.